The Birth of My First Book
Updated: Mar 5
After having written quite a few research papers throughout my years as an undergraduate and graduate student in anthropology, I thought that authoring a book would be easy—I was wrong! My first non-fiction manuscript was quite lengthy due to the nature of the topic. It required around six months of research reading dozens of books, articles, and research papers; and providing personal anecdotes, and anecdotes from other individuals. Naturally, I had to read, analyze, and understand the material in order to substantiate the underlying principle of the book.
The first draft completed; I gave a copy of my manuscript to several kindhearted souls for critique which allowed me to begin the process of editing. As a result, two books were born out of that one document. The first book was titled “Death, Dying, and Modern Technology: Making Informed Decisions at The End of Life”. Once the research phase was over (or so I thought), the hard part began—writing the book. I started with an outline of each chapter, notes, and random ideas that would spring up. And then, at some point in time, I sat there in front of my laptop in my makeshift work station, buried in research materials and reference manuals: dictionaries, thesaurus, books of writing styles, and more. Outwardly, I probably looked like someone that was daydreaming or had just taken a few tokes of ganja. Inwardly, my mind was often lost in this internal world, simply watching seemingly disconnected thoughts drift by the blank screen of my mind. All of this just to write the first sentence!
Writing this book took almost a year to complete and all the while our dining room table remained a hostage (as captured in my wife’s photographs). For those of you wondering, my wife, my muse, and my editor was working full time as a practicing dental hygienist and a dental assisting lab instructor at a local college. I continued working full time, twelve-hour shifts, as a respiratory therapist, and much of that time was spent taking care of critically ill patients. We were so immersed in achieving our goal that outings, parties, family get-togethers, and so much became mere memories of a past life. I would never have been able to carry this out if not for the help of my loving, understanding, and infinitely patient wife, Mary. In the near future, she will share with you her experiences traveling through this uncharted territory.